March review 2020

Stash used this month: 4 skeins

Total stash used this year: 15.5 skeins

Stash remaining: 340 skeins

Not too much progress this month. The boyfriend got frustrated with purl stitch and took a break from knitting, so he hasn’t knocked any off the stash this time. But I know how addictive knitting is – I’m sure he’ll be back at it soon.

As for me, I’ve been working on some bigger/more complicated projects so there aren’t many FOs to go on the list.

 

Charity makes

I made two baby bonnets to test a pattern, and they’ll both be going to charity.

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They’re not makes for this month, but I finally sewed in all the ends of a bunch of items that have been lying around for months (years?) that will also go to charity.

 

Makes for myself

A COVID-19 stress ball.

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The beginning of a pair of socks. At least I think they’re for me. We’ll see if they fit.

 

Makes for others

It looks like this Flax will be for the boyfriend. Or charity if he doesn’t like it. But really, what’s not to like??  I’ve found that I really enjoy making things for him so this probably won’t be his only jumper from me.

 

It’s not been too bad a month, considering everything that’s going on at the moment.  My work is looking to furlough me (is that how to say it? Nobody seems to know) pretty soon, so I’ll have all the crafting time I could ever want. And then some. Let’s see how much I can get made next month!

Hannah

xXx

Swatchless Flax-ing

Yes, I started knitting a jumper without a hint of a gauge swatch. Didn’t even entertain the thought for more than a second. But it’s okay; I have a plan.

I’m following the pattern instructions for a Medium, which is the boyfriend’s size. If it turns out my gauge is right then yay he’ll have a new jumper. If my gauge is off it’ll likely be looser than recommended, which should make the end result big enough to fit me and I’ll have a new jumper – It’s a win either way.

And if it’s a total disaster that doesn’t really fit either of us then I have a charity box just waiting for some more goodies, and it will still be a good chunk of yarn out of my stash. But I’m optimistic that one of us will get a squishy new jumper out of this.

Hannah

xXx

Finally finishing

Current WIP count: 5

So far this week has been more about finishing off old projects than working on new ones.

While sorting through my FO box, as well as moths (UGH!!) I also discovered that I’m even worse at sewing in ends than I thought.  About 95% of them were technically UFOs because there were ends hanging out eeeeeverywhere.

I am determined to actually get them to a charity rather than sitting around the flat, so the last few days have been a bit of an end-a-thon to get everything done and dusted.

This is the pile of true FOs now:

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And this is what I have left to sew in:

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You probably won’t remember, as I mentioned it so briefly and ages ago, that I snapped the cast off of my Flax Light the first time I wore it (curse these hips). What I didn’t say at the time was that I couldn’t face fixing the hundreds of teeny tiny stitches, so it went in the naughty corner and there it stayed until this week.

I managed to catch the stitches where the yarn broke and went round undoing the cast off, then I attached some more yarn and had a go at Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  It’s a bit tedious, what with having to lift over two loops individually for every single stitch, but boy does it stretch!

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The edge looks shonky because the needle I used for cast off was too big. I keep telling myself I can deal with it because the jumper actually fits me, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will end up being undone and cast off for a third time at some point. We shall see.

I did also start another hat at choir this week, until I remembered I was going to use that yarn for a Flax so I frogged it all. Hopefully by next week I’ll have some progress to show on that, but for now it’s back to those ends!

Hannah

xXx

February review 2020

Stash used this month: 9.5 skeins

Total stash used this year: 11.5 skeins

Stash remaining: 344

The numbers look really good, don’t they? But I didn’t actually use up all those skeins myself.

After 7 months I finally convinced the boyfriend to try his hand at knitting, and he has already used the phrase “just one more row” several times – he’s officially A Knitter now! Four skeins have gone into his first ever project; a super chunky infinity scarf.

I got my hooks and needles out every time I has a spare few minutes, and I was ill for 4 days with no energy to do anything but knit, so there are a few things to show for the shortest month of the year.

Charity makes

Super chunky hat

Fingerless gloves

Blue spiral hat (no decent photo yet)

Makes for myself

A few more Roses for Grandma squares have been added to the pile.

Makes for others

Fingerless gloves for the bf, which he has worn every day since I finished them. I’m so pleased!

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I do love a goal, and with the bf’s help I’ll get through my stash even quicker (until he starts buying his own yarn), so I’ve decided to aim for less than 300 skeins left in my stash by the end of 2020. That will be just under 4.5 skeins per month – totally doable!

Hannah

xXx

Yarn as a memory aid

Current WIP count: 7

The texture on my blue hat turned out less subtle than I expected, but I still like it.

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The purl stitches make it slower going than the previous hats, so this will probably do me another couple of weeks at choir before it’s finished.

It’s interesting (to me at least) that I seem to be learning the words to songs quicker than usual when I knit/crochet at choir.  Not sure if it’s my brain shoving the information into my memory quick so I can get on with the yarnery, or if the physical act is somehow helping the words stick.

 

I’ve also been working on the boyfriend’s fingerless gloves and for this project the yarn is giving me fairly random stripes.

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I can see why socks are so addictive; the small circumference means I’m whizzing through these! Maybe I’ll tackle socks next. Although I do quite fancy a pair of gloves for myself now I know how quick they are. Would it be too cutesy for us to have matching fingerless gloves, do you think?

Hannah

xXx

On a hat binge

I just can’t stop making hats at the moment.

The current one is an attempt to use up a big multipack of yarn I can’t remember why I bought. Each skein is 200g and for some reason I got four of them, so there’s a lot to work with!

It’s plain blue and I can only deal with boring in one aspect of my crafting, so I decided to add a wee bit of texture into this hat. After the ribbing I’ve started a 7-stitch repeat over a number that doesn’t divide by seven evenly, in the hope that it will offset and create a subtle spiral pattern.

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Not quite pictured: unicorn stitch marker

I’ll see if it works out soon enough.

 

The thought has just occurred that I could use some of this stuff to make a Flax for myself. It would be much quicker than the Flax Light (yay for thick yarn!) so I’m seriously tempted…

Hannah

xXx

Final bears

Current WIP count: 7

Okay this will be the last post about Simba bears for a while, I swear. I just wanted to show the whole set of sizes all lined up now they’re finished.

Thankfully that was enough bear for now and I’ve been able to get back into Roses for Grandma properly. All the current squares are finished and I’m now making motifs again, as I decided I want a bigger blanket than first planned.

It’s not quite mindless enough to work on at choir, so I’ve also started another hat. This is strictly for choir/travel crochet so it won’t take any time away from my Grandma blanket.

I think I’m finally getting a good balance between charity makes and projects just for me. Hopefully I can keep that up.

Hannah

xXx

The longest January ever

I don’t know how a month can feel like it’s never-ending and still go by in a flash, but January just managed it. Right now I simultaneously can’t believe it’s February already and don’t understand how it’s not at least 2025 yet.  Isn’t time funny?

There wasn’t a huge amount of making for me last month, but I’m happy that the majority of it was for charity.

I also finished off my baby Flax Light and made some progress with Roses for Grandma.

The reason I didn’t get much making done is because a lot of craft time was spent trying to get my flat into some sort of order. You may remember the hugenormous pile of yarn:

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That turned out to be around 400 skeins of yarn.

400!

I Marie Kondo-d that mountain and got rid of all the old, nasty acrylic that squeaks when you use it, any colours I wasn’t in love with, and odd bits of leftover skeins I knew I would never do anything with. That left me with 355.5 total. Yes I counted some as half skeins, not to make the total look better, but to give a more realistic idea of what I’ve used up. No using little 25g balls and patting myself on the back for clearing out whole skeins.

So another goal for this year is to make my stash less ridiculous and use up as much as I can. Even though January wasn’t particularly crafty I still managed to knit and crochet two skeins, one into charity hats and one into Roses for Grandma, leaving me with 353.5 to go.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

Helpful FOs

You’ve got to love the crafting community. The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (link here) has received so many donations for Australia that there’s currently a stop on sending any more, to give them time to take stock and work out what’s still needed. What an excellent ‘problem’ to have!

So there’s been no crafting for Australia for me just yet, and I’ve been finishing up my other charity projects instead.

I now have four bears to go to Simba.

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Still not looking like twinsies.

And two hats to go to Knit For Peace.

I was going to block both hats, but I tried on the rolled one and I actually really like the look of it so that’s staying as it is.

I’m still hooked on the charity-crafting thing so now I’m making a pair of large bears for Simba. Once they’re finished that will be a full set of sizes and hopefully my crojo will let me get on with some of these WIPs that have been lying around for months.

Hannah

xXx

Charity begins at home

Current WIP count: 8

It’s quite addictive, this making for charity thing. I’m onto a second pair of bears for Simba (small this time).

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And a second hat to send to Knit for Peace.

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Plus there’s been a call for knitted and crocheted items to help animals that have been injured in the fires in Australia. My boyfriend lived in Australia for a chunk of his life so the whole thing is hitting him pretty hard, and that makes it personal to me. I’m hoping to get a few things made up over the weekend so he can take them to the Post Office on Monday.

I just love the double joy of making something and knowing it will help someone (or an animal) to feel better.

Hannah

xXx

 

Starting as I mean to go on

Here is my first charity make of 2020: a pair of little bears for SiMBA memory boxes:

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They’re really quick to make (once I deciphered the frankly terrible pattern) so I can see myself churning out quite a few more in my spare time. Hopefully with a bit of practice I can get them looking like twin bears rather than distant cousins!

Being so small, they’re not going to use up much stash very quickly, but every little helps and it’s all for a good cause so I’m going for it. My next project can be a big blanket or something to balance it out.

Hannah

xXx

I Sew 2

I was doing some research on West Yorkshire Spinners yarn for a blog post, and found myself accidentally clicking on the ‘Stockists’ link and searching for Scotland. Completely by accident, you understand.

And it just so happens that there’s a stockist a mere 5-minute walk from my work! That’s close enough even for my measly 30 minutes of lunch break (yes I am still a bit miffed that I don’t get an hour any more), so that very day I paid them a visit.

I Sew 2 is a cute little shop on Townhead in Kirkintilloch. With a real bell on the door! I love those.

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The light would NOT let me get a good photo

There’s not masses of stock, as about a third of the space is set up for workshops and socials, but they’ve still managed to cram yarn, fabric, ribbons, buttons, and notions in there; enough to fill up my lunch break no problem.

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The owner is super friendly and chatted the whole time I was there, but not in a sales-y way.

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We talked about knitting and crochet (obviously), setting craft budgets and sometimes sticking to them, the pros and cons of knit/crochet groups, patchworking, sewing machine techniques, and all the events that run in the shop.

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I will definitely be going along to the Crochet Chaos social at some point, and I’m all booked in for a 3D needle felting workshop this week.

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Something I learned from the leaflet the owner gave me is that they also work in conjunction with SiMBA, a charity that creates memory boxes for parents who have lost a baby, either pre- or post-natal. The boxes contain a knitted or crochet blanket, butterfly, and stuffed toy – all made by volunteers. There are monthly sessions in the shop to create these donations, which were during the day but after I asked about it they started an evening session as well.

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Back to my visit – I naively planned to just have a look around, see what was on offer in case I ever needed some yarn faster than Love Crochet could deliver it.

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Silly me! 20 minutes is clearly beyond my limit for being around crafting goodies without buying some, especially when there’s a bargain bucket and the words “of course we take card” are involved.

One gorgeous skein was very clearly calling my name and I was powerless to resist as it jumped into my hands. It’s like fuzzy Autumn.

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And then I just had to have this bundle of fat quarters.

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Luckily for my bank balance I stopped with those two, but oh I could have spent so much money in there. If I ever get a working sewing machine again I’ll definitely be back for some of the beautiful fabrics, and in the meantime I get the feeling I’m going to become a regular at the Crochet Chaos socials.

Hannah

xXx